is the MTB future 29" or 27.5"?

Discussion in 'Mountain Biking, Trials and BMX' started by e-rider, 2 Dec 2016.

  1. I'm going to challenge @Yellow Saddle on my26er.
    He is not in the same class as forum member Blazed that's for sure.;)

  2. Ciar

    Ciar Über Member

    I previously rode a HT 29'r and have now switched to a Bouncy 27.5 trail bike, which i generally run locked out. differences for me as my local is Epping, the 29'r went over everything roots mud you name it without any real problems, the 27'5 is much more fun, but you need to manoeuvre it correctly as it doesn't roll as easily, but on the twisty turny trails it's easier to handle as it's not akin to driving a tank ;-)

    for me personally it's horses for courses, if i was to buy a second MTB it would be slack framed HT and probably 29'r and i reckon i would grab a Bird as they seems to be brilliant.

    in all honesty if you read singletrack magazine of follow them, lately everything posted is about either Fat Bikes or E-Bikes, you can guess what companies are currently paying them to advertise :smile:

    i have never got into the debate on wheel size, as i reckon they all have their merits, but the wheel difference, in my eyes is no different to record companies inventing genres, to get people to buy music all marketing pure and simple.
  3. Drago

    Drago Soiler of Y fronts

    None of them have their merits, only different combinations of compromise.
    MarquisMatsugae likes this.
  4. mythste

    mythste Über Member

    I think 26" is the best.

    Because everyone is moving away from them and you can pick up some quality used gear for next to pennies :laugh:
  5. HarryTheDog

    HarryTheDog Veteran

    Basildon Essex
    Overall its different wheels and tyres for different courses. I started of racing XC on my 26 inch scott scale 35. I was right at the back. I then test rode a Cannondlae FS1 27.5 back to back with a Specialized stumpjumper 29er to see if they were any better. I found the 27.5 and 29er very similar, but the stumpjumper felt like I had been riding it for years with no weirdness to it at all, So bought it despite the Cannondale feeling like it had superior suspension. ( superior price as well)
    I made up 12 places in my next race. I kept my 26inch for a while, only rode it twice more for fun but I gave up on it as it felt so slow and sold it. ( note the bikes were very similar weights)
    In nearly all races the vast majority of people were on 29ers, for the more twisty technical races some top guys ( with several bikes) switched to 27.5's. When it was really sticky mud some people who had them switched back to 26 inch as skinnier tyres are more readily available and less wieght of mud to carry.
    When I go out on evening muck about rides with a club who nearly all do not race, most use 27.5 full sussers for the more manoeuvrable than 29er, better roll over than 26 inch factor, and most are old geezers who like comfort of full susension.
    So you need 3 bikes really and probably 3 sets of tyres for each. If not just compromise like the rest of us.
    fossyant likes this.
  6. meta lon

    meta lon Guru

    A 26


    A 27.5


    i will only have a 27.5 ..until i find a better looking option..
  7. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    I can't actually tell much difference, other than my 26" is over 20 years old and quite 'small' compared to my new 27.5" full suspension - both very different bikes. As for speed, very little difference on the flat or climbing - got similar speeds on my circuits, but the suspension only helps with rocky conditions or very rough conditions.

    Marketing rubbish.
    dan_bo and Drago like this.
  8. screenman

    screenman Legendary Member

    Over a local circuit the 26 takes 15 minutes to get around, the 29er is 17 minutes faster.
    keithmac and fossyant like this.
  9. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    It's like Oval chain rings coming into MTB. They don't make a difference. Some really think it does. It's negligible on a road bike, never mind throwing all the variables that are in MTB riding.
  10. screenman

    screenman Legendary Member

    How do you mean not make a difference?
  11. Drago

    Drago Soiler of Y fronts

    You're like me. I've currently 3x26's, sold my 29 and now have a Pace 27.5, and I'm buggered if I can find any difference in any area of performance that can be attributed to wheel size.

    I did notice that, like for like, 29" hoops are more flexi, sometimes disconcertingly so, at least for a heavy lard-O like me, and the weight of mud they carry makes them ill suited for many British conditions. A convert I was not.

    The experiences of off road motorcycles show that a large front wheel is no impediment to agility - just look at Dougie Lumpkin - which suggests other aspects of geometry, wheelbase etc are more important than wheel size when going down a nadgery route.

    Marketing guff, trying to create and sustain a trend that can be exploited for commercial gain, and too many people in our consumer centred society are gullible enough to keep feeding the machine.
    Last edited: 7 Dec 2016
    MarquisMatsugae and meta lon like this.
  12. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Other than the new bike is leap years ahead in technology, they still both climb and go on the flat the same speed. OK the new bike has super hydraulic brakes, and fabulous suspension that lets you go over rough descents with confidence faster, and a dropper post that stop's you thinking you'll tip over on some steep slopes, but most riding, fairly similar. The old bike is far better in crap winter gloopy conditions, no suspension to wreck. My old 20 year old XT shifts as sweet as the SRAM X9, all be it a bit heavier.

    It's all getting very muddled with Plus sizes and long travel 29ers.

    I think the main thing, is look at the riding you are doing. If it's trails and XC then maybe upto 140mm travel, bits of proper downhill and XC, go for an Enduro with 150 - 160mm travel, or go the full hog and get a DH bike for going downhill only (apparently horrible to actually ride them anywhere).

    Many of the mid travel bikes can do everything, other than go crazy on downhill.
    Drago likes this.
  13. screenman

    screenman Legendary Member

    Each one of my current stock of 7 bikes all ride differently, choice is a great thing to have.
    Drago likes this.
  14. Drago

    Drago Soiler of Y fronts

    Fair point. I'm don't do droppers either. I felt no benefit, wasn't any 'better' or more comfortable, and it was just extra weight for the sake of 2011's latest craze. On eBay it went.

    If manufacturers told the masses that having a picture of Gary Glitter on the head tube made bikes quicker then some magazine would invent a rationale to fit the claim - not the other way around - and the masses would be waving the credit cards in anticipation.

    It's like F1 drivers. Some like a car set up hard, all the controls sharp and immediate. Others like a softer, more progressive set up. Despite these differences there's no correlation between any particular preference and race wins or world championships. It's simply what works for that driver, on in our case rider.

    And a final thought, as applicable to road bikes as well. How many riders, particularly amateur racers, rushed out to buy 29ers a few years back, to emulate their heroes (who we in the main given them by their sponsors whether they liked it or not), when a bit of attention to diet or training would have gained equal, if not greater results?

    Marketing bull is all it ever was, and manufactures are quietly forgetting this as they switch to 27.5. After all, how could one size be better four years ago, and another better today? They can't be right both times.
    Last edited: 7 Dec 2016
  15. screenman

    screenman Legendary Member

    I should add that I cannot remember the last time I read a bike review, I would think maybe 20 years ago. So I would imagine that I have not been conned by a magazine.

    Despite have 3 New bikes in the last 6 years I have chosen one of them, so again not conned.
    Drago likes this.
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